Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Julius Katz original e-book for June 1st


I'm going to be releasing an original Julius Katz novel June 1st in e-book form. I tried selling this to traditional mainstream publishers--I thought that since the first Julius Katz story won the Shamus Award and that the second story, Archie's Been Framed, won Ellery Queen's Readers Choice Award this year, as well as the fact that the stories have 1000s of fans and that more will be published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine would make this an obvious decision to the mainstream publishers. I was wrong. Most of the rejections were along the line that readers wouldn't "get" a narrator like Archie (ignoring the fact that 1000s of readers already do "get" Archie). The last rejection came from an editor who tried to acquire it, but it was decided Julius wasn't likable enough and the book was too dark. Folks, this book isn't any darker than the stories or the average Nero Wolfe novel.

Like many writers when I first started out, I naively looked at mainstream publishers as gatekeepers, the arbiters of what's worthy of being published. Well, I couldn't have been more wrong. It's a business decision, nothing more than that, and more and more their decisions are based on what they consider low risk books and not what's worthy of being published. They all passed on Small Crimes. They all passed on The Caretaker of Lorne Field. They all passed on Outsourced (even with a film deal already worked out--and it's now looking like a certainty the film is going to get made). And they all passed on A Killer's Essence, which is coming out from Overlook Press in the Fall, and will get a bigger reaction than The Caretaker of Lorne Field. Anyway, I've decided Julius and Archie have suffered their last rejection. I'm putting this out myself. If the 1000s of Julius Katz fans end up finding this ebook and it sells the way I expect it will, then there will be many more Julius Katz and Archie mysteries. If the mainstream NY publishers turn out to be right, then there will only be this one. so I'm counting on the Julius Katz fans out there to help me prove New York wrong!

7 comments:

Peter Andrew Leonard said...

Man, I can't wait! The Julius Katz stories are some of your best writing.

Al Leverone said...

Good decision, and good luck - I will be ready and waiting to download it on June 1...

Dave Zeltserman said...

Peter, Alan, thanks. I know the reader are out there for this, and I just have to make sure I find them so that this can be the first of many.

--Dave

Anonymous said...

Dave we are huge fans of the Julius Katz stories and it's hard for us to believe that the traditional publishers are so foolish. The publishing world has certaintly lost it's way and Julius Katz is only the latest example. Long live Julius Katz.

Dave Kanell, Kingdom Books in Vermont

Doug Levin said...

Dave -- This rejection story is pretty interesting and a little depressing. I've been collecting some rejections lately, but with significant praise for the book. The mainstream publishers are becoming so gun-shy that they are abandoning their role as conduits to interesting, different, offbeat books.

TRX said...

Publishers are telling readers that the physical book isn't worth anything and that the entire value is in the story.Except when a writer's cut of a book's cover price is determined. Then the value of the story is minimal.As you said, that's another matter.While the view that the story is the entire value of a book is flattering to the writer,that's not the way that readers see it.To readers, e-book cost nothing to produce. Publishers know that isn't true.Writers know it too. But try to convince the general public of that. As far as readers are concerned,the incremental cost to produce more copies of an e-book is zero.So the readers expect an eBook to be priced less than a physical book. The real costs have nothing to do with it. Design and Graphics

TRX said...

I love the feel of a hardcover or the glossy look of a magazine in my hands. However, I recognize the convenience of eBooks, especially when traveling. You can't exactly have your favorite reads in a suitcase.Multimedia